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Ask Josh: TORNADO WARNING!

Breaking into programming.

This past Saturday, May 30th, at 8:22 PM, a tornado warning (which means a tornado was either detected by Doppler radar and or has been spotted by the public) was issued by the National Weather Service in Charleston for South Central Cabell County, Northeast Wayne County, Lincoln County and Northern Logan County, WV.  The warning was in effect until 9:00 PM.  From 8-11 PM the Stanley Cup was also being aired on WSAZ.  I did about a 3 minute live cut-in at about 8:25 showing where the warnings were and showing where the storm was located and who was at most risk with this possible tornado.

At about 8:40 PM I did about an 8 to 10 minute live cut-in as I got confirmation that a funnel cloud was sighted near East Lynn in Wayne County and moving into Lincoln County.  There was strong indication on Doppler radar that a tornado could touch down at any point.  I showed our live 3-D Doppler, showing viewers who was at most risk with this storm.

Well since I had to break into programming, like the Stanley Cup, a major sporting event, I did get some nasty, rude e-mails and phone calls.  Most of them were saying just run the crawl at the bottom of the TV. screen and don't bother us with breaking into programming!  That was the nicer one, ha-ha...

During the entire time, with the warning we also ran a crawl at the bottom of the TV. screen showing the warning.  But in a tornado that's not really good enough.  It's important that we show live radar and talk viewers through it and give safety tips.

By the way, every television station in this country breaks into programming during a tornado warning.

These warning's are issued to save life and protect property.  It's our responsibility as meteorologists' and the severe weather leader in this market to give these warnings.  Tornado warning's are serious and have to be taken that way.  I realize not all of you had severe weather Saturday night.  Here's what I told the few who sent me nasty e-mails:  If a tornado was heading your way, I'm sure you would like to know as well.  I realize the severe weather couldn't have came at a worse time.  Thanks for understanding.

So here are a couple questions for you, my friends.  What do you think about us cutting into programming during severe weather events such as tornado's.  Do you only want to see just the crawls at the bottom of the screen or would you also like to see live radar for specifics on where the storm is going?  Do you find it rude that people who aren't experiencing the storm complain about it if you are? 

Please give me your feedback and let me know.  Put your thoughts in the comment section below.

As always, thanks for reading and your feedback!

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